Asia bulletin: PAGCOR “seriously considering” its status as an operator

Chairman and CEO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Alejandro Tengco has expressed his desire to focus on the organisation’s regulatory role, to expand its reach and contribution to “nation-building.” 

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Tengco’s vision for the future of PAGCOR stretches to the privatisation of publicly managed casinos that the agency operates in the country.  

The CEO and Chairman expressed his views at the opening of the ASEAN Gaming Summit in Marriott Manila on 21 March 2023, where he participated as a keynote speaker.  

Tengco told listeners that since its reformation in August 2022, the PAGCOR board has been open to talks of privatising these state-run casinos to avoid a conflict of interests as an operator-cum-regulator. 

However, he noted that the length of time these talks have run so far is due to issues around the welfare of employees, who may be affected by management decisions should public casinos fall into private hands. 

Tengco also spoke about PAGCOR’s new regulatory frameworks, saying: "As we speak, our Licensing & Regulatory Group has already accomplished projects like the updating of suppliers’ regulatory manual, implementing rules and guidelines for foundations, and crafting of Gaming Employment License regulations on the prohibition on enter/stay/play. 

"We acknowledge our limitations on the side of enforcement and on our capacity to address illegal gambling, thus we reinforced our partnerships with various law enforcement agencies to address this concern.” 

He added that PAGCOR also has an eye on the regulated online gaming industry, noting: “We are studying the possibility of regulating other facets of the overseas gaming operations, or the possible regulation of Special Class of BPOs or those who service legitimate operators licensed abroad.

"[We are also] amending the processing of penalties imposed on overseas gaming operators and their service providers to discourage non-compliance and involvement in any irregular activity.” 

In 2022, Gambling Insider discussed PAGCOR's evolution in the Nov/Dec edition of its magazine. 


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